Postgraduate MSc

Building Surveying

School of Science, Engineering and Environment




Distance Learning


One year

Two and a half year

Two and a half year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

In the post-pandemic recovery, not only will the construction industry build back better, it will grow greener. Repurposing buildings into sustainable new spaces is at the heart of this strategy. If you are considering a career where you can reimagine a building’s potential, our Building Surveying masters degree is your next step.  

Designed to prime you for a graduate surveyor role, our Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)-accredited Building Surveying postgraduate degree course is recommended for graduates and experienced industry professionals seeking a career conversion route.  The course is available with full-time, part-time and distance learning pathways. 

Led by academics and industry practitioners, you will build the core technical skills that underpin the building surveyor’s particular expertise in understanding the fabric of existing buildings. You will also explore how BIM technology is revolutionising practice, and consider current industry trends in refurbishment, conservation, and adaptation.

International applicant? Please check international intakes for the latest information and application dates.

Start your MSc Building Surveying study journey

Register for our next Open Day where you can learn more about the course, tour our campus and meet the tutors

You will:

  • Study the core technological skills that underpin the building surveyor’s particular expertise in the fabric of existing buildings, including how buildings are constructed, and how they can deteriorate and fail
  • Learn how buildings can be brought back into use at the end of their lives through refurbishment, conservation, and adaptation
  • Understand the legal, professional and statutory context of the building surveyor’s role, including requirements relating to planning permission, construction contracts, and professional conduct

students accepted

Course accreditations

RICS logo

This is for you if...


You to have a real passion for developing, advancing and shaping the built environment


You are keen to develop technical skills in a recognised professional role


You're practical, creative and business-focused, with an enthusiasm to progress

Course details

All about the course

Building surveying equipment on a construction site

Course delivery

Our MSc Building Surveying postgraduate course is delivered through a range of industry-aligned modules. The 180-credit MSc award comprises eight taught modules plus a dissertation. The 120-credit PgDip comprises eight taught modules. The 60-credit PgCert award comprises four specified taught modules.

Flexibility is at the heart of our learning approach. You can choose to study this postgraduate course full-time or part-time on campus, or part-time via distance learning:

  • As a campus-based full-time student, you will complete four 15-credit taught modules in each of the first two trimesters.  In the final trimester, you will complete a dissertation worth 60 credits
  • As a campus-based part-time student, you will complete two 15-credit modules in each of the first four trimesters. In two additional trimesters, you will complete a dissertation worth 60 credits
  • As a distance learning student, you will complete two 15-credit taught modules in each of your first four trimesters. In two additional trimesters, you will complete your dissertation online, with tutor support
Learning experience

There are few better places to study building surveying. Located just over a mile from Manchester city centre, we're at the heart of the UK's largest architecture, engineering and construction market outside of London, with plenty of live case studies and a strong network of industry partners where you can find career opportunities once you graduate.

If you are studying on campus, you will have opportunities to visit live construction sites and assess potential development sites.  Distance learning students will also experience our Collaborate Ultra virtual learning environment, supported by real-time and on-demand interactive sessions. Module assessment is driven by real-world problems aligned to your workplace or role.

Alongside gaining a strong understanding of real-world practice, you will develop your building surveying knowledge in topics such as planning and development, legal frameworks, procurement and information modelling. You will also strengthen your research and analytical skills by completing a dissertation on a topic of your choice. Learn more about the current course modules in the section below.

Course team

Our Building Surveying postgraduate programme is delivered by an academic team with extensive research and subject knowledge. The team is part of a global built environment community with prominence in shaping construction industry best practice. 

Trimester one (and Trimester two for part-time and distance learning)

Building Law Principles

This module will cover:

  • Principles of contract law
  • Introduction to building contracts
  • Negligence and the duty of care
  • Occupiers’ liability and building defects
  • The land-related torts
  • Introduction to commercial leases

Building Procurement and Contract Administration

This module will cover:

  • Parties and professionals in the construction process
  • Types of contractual arrangement
  • Typical contract documents
  • Pre-contract practice and the tender process
  • Commencement and progression of the works
  • Variations and contractual claims
  • Valuations and certificates
  • Completion and defect liability

Building Information Modelling

This module will cover:

  • Introduction to Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • BIM concepts, principles, barriers and challenges
  • BIM level 2
  • BIM in the design process
  • BIM in construction and facilities management
  • Interoperability and standard

Building Surveying Practice

This module will cover:

  • Professional conduct, ethics and client relations
  • Practice of building surveys and reports
  • Dilapidations surveys, negotiations and expert witness role
  • Party wall practice and procedures
  • Health and safety responsibilities and processes
  • Maintenance and conservation management
  • Regulatory issues

Building Technology

This module will cover:

  • Sites and foundations
  • Domestic scale construction
  • Environment and services
  • Large buildings
  • Building high and wide

This module is studied across Trimester One and Two.

Trimester two (Trimesters three and four for part-time and distance learning)

Building Technology

This module will cover:

  • Sites and foundations
  • Domestic scale construction
  • Environment and services
  • Large buildings
  • Building high and wide

This module is studied across Trimester One and Two.

Sustainable & Energy Efficient Buildings

This module addresses the basic theory of sustainability within the context of the built environment and key principles of energy efficiency in construction. Throughout the module a range of cultural and intellectual factors including social, political, economic, and technical that shape the built environment are considered. The module fosters broad understanding of energy efficiency construction which takes net zero carbon policies and building physics principles into account. 

Planning and Development Control

This module will cover:

  • Central and local planning policy
  • Development plans
  • Operations and development control
  • Applications for planning permission
  • Permitted development and material considerations
  • Role of building control
  • Appeals and enforcement

Building Adaption

This module will cover:

  • Feasibility (design process)
  • Adaptive reuses
  • Lateral and vertical extensions
  • Principles and aspects of refurbishment
  • Sustainable adaptation
Trimester three (trimesters five and six for part-time and distance learning)


This module allows you to develop a research proposal with clear aims and objectives related to your study. You will undertake critical analysis of existing research and engage in various forms of recognised research in order to produce a sustained, sophisticated, and logical argument in the form of a written dissertation.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?




Campus-based teaching and learning will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods, including:

  • Lectures will introduce the core module knowledge, with tutorials designed to provide a forum for tutor-led discussion and debate
  • Project work is your chance to conduct research and other techniques that will help you to develop solutions to prescribed tasks
  • Directed study enables you to cover materials at your own pace
  • One-to-one tutorials (by appointment) are available to discuss your learning progress
  • Guest lecturers from the building surveying profession, with expertise in curriculum areas, are invited to share their knowledge 
  • Field trips are organised in co-operation with local surveying practices, giving you the opportunity to visualise what is taught and apply it to a real-world context

Distance learning students will experience our online learning environment and intensive tutor support. Weekly online tutorials are delivered to encourage student participation.

Our online learning materials enable you to complete self-directed study at your own convenience. Learning is driven by real-world problems in workplaces and job roles.


You will be assessed through written coursework (100%) and continuous informal assessment by your tutors. Methods include:

  • Design projects
  • Essays
  • Case study analysis
  • Precedent studies

During your studies, you will have the opportunity to participate in our Building Surveying Industry Mentoring Scheme. This initiative is designed to help you navigate the transition between academic study and working life. By offering you the opportunity to share your concerns and queries with mentors who have made the transition, we hope to better prepare you for success as a graduate.

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our postgraduate courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and leaders.

Driven by industry and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to take your career potential further.

Energy House

The way UK energy is supplied and consumed is changing fast. Consumers and small businesses will soon be able to generate, store, share, buy and sell their energy as the government encourages the transition to a greener economy.

Through commercial and grant funded research, Salford's world-class Energy House Laboratories help businesses understand how effective their products and services are in lowering consumers’ carbon footprint and reducing energy bills.

Industry collaboration and research

When you start this degree with Salford, you are also joining a community making a difference in industry, our local region and in our wider society.

Many of our academics and technicians who support your course also lead collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact work in a range of local and global built environment issues and challenges.

Discover how you are part of something bigger.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?



This course will equip you for a rewarding career as a building surveyor in the construction industry. The life of a building surveyor is varied and challenging and it is highly likely that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel, and that you’ll play a key role in shaping the built environment.

With an extensive understanding of buildings, the law, property and construction, you will be well equipped to pursue roles in a variety of areas including: building defect diagnostics, the conservation of historic buildings, acquisition and condition surveying, refurbishments alterations and extensions, the specification and supervision of construction work, dilapidations, party walls and rights to light work, and the design of new buildings.

Opportunities exist for building surveying graduates in a range of private and public sector environments. These include surveying and architectural professional practices, property and construction companies, and the estates departments of major organisations with substantial property holdings.

Our building surveying graduates have found employment with a number of organisations including: B&Q, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gleeds Construction Consultants, Manchester City Council, Mansell Construction Services, National Grid, Network Rail, Property Tectonics Ltd, STMC Building Control Ltd.


You might also choose to take your subject interest further with postgraduate research. Our Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainable Environments is home to PhD and Research Master’s opportunities exploring how we can enhance our built environments at local, national and international scales. 

Explore our Doctoral School to learn more about research training, support and opportunities.

A taste of what you could become

A building surveyor

An urbanist

A project manager

A construction consultant

A site planner

And more...


What you need to know


Designed to provide a career focus, the course is open to graduates from a broad range of subjects, including the arts, sciences, law or business. This course is also recommended for current professionals who want to formalise their existing building surveying skills.

No prior knowledge of building surveying, property or construction is required, however, it is important that you are prepared for the scope of the course content. Building surveyors have a passion for historic and modern buildings, possessing practical, creative, business-focused skills and able to operate in a professional environment. Possessing these qualities will enhance your learning experience.


All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, however we do accept a range of equivalent qualifications. 

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course


Please check international intakes for the latest information and application dates.


The full masters award is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Accreditation enables exemption from some academic entry requirements.

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate Degree

Applicants must have a minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2).

International student entry requirements

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) 

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

For more information or enquires about this scheme, please contact: 

Learn more about the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,450.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £16,380.00per year
Part-time 2024/25 This fee will be calculated pro rata.
Distance learning 2024/25 £1,575 per 30 credits
Full-time home 2025/26 £9,800.00per year
Full-time international 2025/26 £17,000.00per year
Part-time 2025/26 This fee will be calculated pro rata.
Distance learning 2025/26 £1,635 per 30 credits

The credits for each qualification works as follows: 180 credits for Masters, 120 credits for PGDip and 60 credits for PGCert

Additional costs

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

International student scholarships

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Learn more about our latest international scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

January 2025

September 2025